Feeding Bees in a Top Bar Hive
How do you feed bees in a top bar hive? I'm about to embark on a new journey here and cannot find this little bit of info.
Hi, Glad you're about to take up beekeeping. I think you'll find it fascinating and fun!
I'm afraid, though, that I may not be of much help to you with your question since I've never kept bees in a top bar hive. I'd like to give it a try sometime, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
I did find this set of plans for a top bar feeder if you're interested in building something yourself.
I wonder, too, if you couldn't use a Boardman feeder (entrance feeder).
As you can see in the photo, it's designed to slide into the entrance of a Langstroth hive.
If I understand correctly how top bar hives are used, when you start a hive, you won't be using all of the top bars. You'll gradually add top bars as the colony grows and needs to build new combs.
So it seems like you could use a Boardman feeder in the unoccupied area of the hive. Just make a board with a cut-out in it just large enough to slide the lip of the feeder through.
The board would keep the bees out of the chamber in which the feeder sits, so - depending upon the hive cover arrangement - you could refill the feeder without disturbing the bees at all.
Again, I'm somewhat ignorant about top bar beekeeping, so I don't know for sure that such an arrangement would work.
Sorry I can't be of more definitive help, and good luck with your bees.
Once you get your hive going, if you'd like to let us know how you're doing (and what you came up with for a feeder), I'm sure it'll be very helpful to other newbie top bar beekeepers.
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